Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The other night, my wife and I were watching "The Unborn" and I found it so bad that it reminded me that it was about time for another review. Don't worry, I won't be reviewing "The Unborn." Instead I present to you the 1971 Italian T&A treat "The Devil's Nightmare."

The movie begins at the end of World War II where a Nazi baron has to kill his newborn daughter while, thanks to some grainy stock footage, the Allied Forces pound the shit out of Berlin. The murder scene is brutal and comical at the same time as it appears the baron mistakenly stabs a baby doll. The baron's wife subsequently died in child birth.

Flash forward to "the present," at least the 1971 version of it, a bus with seven passengers takes refuge from the night in the baron's castle. When the bus driver asks this weird guy along the road for directions to any nearby inn, he directs them to the castle where the baron has been known to take in guests.

Like any bunch of dumb tourists would, they listen to the creepy guy's advice and find themselves at the castle door.

The tourists, including two 1970s hot Italian chicks and a "seminarian" (as he calls himself) are symbolically the Seven Deadly Sins and each fall victim to a scarlet-haired succubus played by the vampy Erika Blanc haunting the castle.

The death scenes are silly and the only one even remotely gruesome is the scene where the bus driver (Gluttony) eats himself to death. There's also a sex scene between the two 1970s hot Italian chicks that is right up there with the stuff you see today on late night Cinemax.

I won't ruin how it ends, but (SPOILER ALERT) it isn't called "The Devil's Nightmare" for no good reason. Suffice it to say, it has something to do with the baron's past, the weird guy along the road and the "seminarian."

The only problem I had with this movie was the dialogue. Translated from Italian, it just seemed a bit stiff and did little more than carry the plot along. The best example is during a passionate love scene between two characters, one of whom is one of the two 1970s hot Italian chicks who apparently plays for both teams. The 1970s hot Italian girl says, "Do you like the way I kiss?" and the overly-hairy 1970s Italian stud replies, "Yes. I love your mouth."

I love Italian horror movies, particularly those of the 1960s and '70s and "The Devil's Nightmare" is no exception. I give it two out of four quarters minus about a dime. The movie plays out like a horror comic of the era, has some pretty creepy music, takes place in a cool castle haunted by a sexy succubus and has a few soft-core sex moments. I can forgive a lot if you throw in some 1970s hot Itailan chicks.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Legend of the Dollar Store Cinema

One of my New Year resolutions for this year is to do at least one review per month of movies you probably shouldn't waste your time watching. I was doing it for awhile as "Dollar Store Cinema" as most of the movies came from the dollar store down the street. They were supposed to be horror films and some of them such as "Atom Age Vampire" were actually quite good. But writing/drawing comics took center stage and all the dollar stores in town dried up their movie sections, so I just sorta stopped posting reviews. But, recently I've managed to come across a few decent horror movies, so, until that well runs dry, I'm going to attempt to review movies at least once a month.

Up first..."The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires!"

"The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires" is a Shaw Brothers & Hammer House of Horrors coagulation that is quite good, in spite of a little less than spectacular fight scenes and an "it's suddenly over" ending.

After vanquishing Count Dracula, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) apparently goes on a world-wide speaking tour where, while in China, is asked to do the same in a cursed village near Chung King. As it turns out, Count Dracula is behind the whole mess, though sadly not portrayed by Christopher Lee but rather a guy who looks like a toss up between Ceasar Romero and Unknown Hinson. In spite of it's few flaws, there was enough zombies...


...mood lighting and topless virgins to keep me interested.

The story would make for a good role-playing-game campaign. Julie Ege plays a wealthy widow who funds the excursion to vanquish the seven golden vampires who plague the village.

There are seven brothers and one sister who are, of course, martial artists and it's a good thing because not only do they defend Van Helsing, his son and Miss Ege from a band of brigands, but apparently Chinese zombies are also martial artists. Even though Count Dracula, who possesses the form of an evil Chinese priest, is kinda silly looking, the priest is creepy enough to make up the difference.

All things considered, it's a pretty good movie although it lacks a bit of what made both the Shaw Brothers and Hammer Studios great. To its credit, the movie was filmed entirely in China. I give it a solid two quarters (out of four obviously as four quarters make a dollar) as it was good enough to watch twice.